US takes Japan to task over comfort women

US takes Japan to task over comfort women

US takes Japan to task over comfort women

Updated 19 December 2011, 11:02 AEDT

The US House of Representatives has called on Japan to apologise for forcing thousands of women into sexual slavery during and before WWII.

On a voice vote, the house approved a nonbinding resolution intended as a symbolic statement on the Japanese government's role in forcing up to 200,000 comfort women into a wartime brothel program starting in the 1930s.

Correspondents say the vote marked a rare rebuke by Washington politicians of Washington's closest ally in Asia.

An official at the Japanese embassy in Washington would not comment on the vote, leaving it to government officials in Tokyo.

However in June, Japan's ambassador to the United States wrote a letter to the speaker of the House of Representatives, saying the resolution would "almost certainly have lasting and harmful effects" on the two countries' relationship.

Topics: